'Official: Erdogan Gaza visit would hurt Turkey-US ties'

September 4, 2011 20:46

A senior Israeli official on Sunday warned that it would be a diplomatic mistake for Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to visit the Gaza Strip as reports in the Turkish and Arab media suggested he was considering doing.

The Qatar News Agency reported on Sunday that Erdogan will pay a two-day visit to Egypt beginning September 12 and may subsequently cross the border into the Gaza Strip.

Channel Two quoted the Israeli official as saying Erdogan would damage Turkey's relations with the United States by visiting Gaza. He added that the move would also weaken Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, presumably because a trip to Hamas-controlled Gaza would challenge him as the legitimate representative of the Palestinians.

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